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Everything posted by PrinceBlueblood

  1. Bluebelle wouldn't expect a dragon to sympathize much with abstractly verbal peculiarities; they were creatures very much of the earth and matter. While it wasn't strictly true that all dragons had hordes, it was true that they held material objects in much greater esteem than most other species, especially in relation to abstract ideas. The Archancellor supposed that had something to do with the fact that they could eat almost anything, and therefore could appreciate any object will all of their senses. *Though, I don't know if they consider ceramic appetizing. Would it be offensive to ask? Because if draconic tea sets are technically edible...* She let this woolgathering continue in the back of her mind, not having much to say on the subject of Terramar. She'd seen him mostly in pictures, and she supposed he was handsome enough, for a hippogriff. Being an only foal, though, there was little understanding for her of the difficulty of imagining siblings in romantic contexts. As she took what she promised to herself would be her absolute last sandwich, Silverstream's conversation drifted to the subject of titles. "If Mount Aris is anything like Canterlot, they used to mean a lot more than they do now. It used to be having a title meant that you were, well, drafted into a position of leadership. It's a privilege... right up until the captain must go down with the ship." Being a sailor by hobby, the nautical metaphor was a default for her. "Although... that's probably less of an issue for hippogriffs, unless you're on an airship- oh, wait, you can fly too." She look slightly nonplussed. "Okay... bad example..." Oh dear, that would be quite the diplomatic faux pas in a more formal context. Thankfully, this was just between friends, and Silverstream's attention was already caught by the Princess' subtle allusion. "Ah, yes..." What was the best way to explain her romantic situation to younger ones? "Well, my first marefriend and I began seriously dating shortly after my gender-swapping curse was put upon me. I soon found out that she quite enjoyed sharing me; a bit like I was the best tea she ever tasted, she found her enjoyment enhanced by sharing me with somepony else who would also love me. And, as it turned out, there was another pony, a dear friend of mine, who also turned out to love me very much." Another sip of tea, as she sought for properly hedging words. "This isn't... necessarily common in Equestria, but it's not unknown. It's called herding; you might encounter it if you travel widely in this country. It's not done so much anymore, partly because of inheritance complications, and partly because most ponies aren't like my marefriends."
  2. "That's alright, popcorn's not a bad smell, after all." Sky chuckled in response to Windy's laughing remark about the effects of buttery popcorn. "I think my favorite kind is some I got at a fairground once, sweet and salty, but not overwhelming or slippery. Never found any like it sense, but I guess that makes sense. Some of the best things in life are one-of-a-kind. For example..." He gave her a little nuzzle. "You." No usher would win a bet on them not looking cute in public, that was for sure. Taking in his popcorn one kernel at a time, Sky listened to their itinerary. He savored his snack as one did coming from a moderate background; luxury was to be savored and prolonged, for it didn't come often. "Some classics, some modern. A lot of composers seem to make scores these days rather than symphonies, though the line between is starting to blur, now that more and more talent is coming into the field. I've heard good things about the *Flower, Moon, Wind, Snow* show from Neighpon, but I don't know when that is crossing the ocean."
  3. Glad that the guard was so understanding of his little awkward moment, Sky gave him a smile as he escorted Wind Dancer into the passage. "Have a good evening, sir!" Habits of the heartland never truly leave a pony; a polite hello and goodbye could do wonders. Once past the doorway, however, it was swapped who was escorting whom. "Alright, then; maximal butter for you, minimal butter for me. I just... don't like getting grease on my feathers. I had a oil unit crack its rubber pipes on me back when I worked in cold storage and-" He shuddered. "That was one of the only times in my life my wings couldn't catch the wind. I also wasn't sure I could save myself if I fell, too, so it was pretty terrifying until I got cleaned off. Which can take a little while." The line was still short at the concession stand, thankfully. A lot of the ponies here were the more high-class types who thought it gauche to eat and listen to music at the same time. "Not to mention, slick feathers have a hard time hitting the keys. And don't me started about cleaning out a synthesizer..." Thankfully, his past trauma wasn't triggered by hoofing over a large bucket of yellowy-shiny puffed kernels to his marefriend, who then picked out the pair of seats for them. He had no reason to doubt her knowledge of acoustics, a subject he knew well of himself. X-18 and X-19 were unoccupied, and thus became theirs. "What pieces have they picked out for tonight?" Sky asked, curiously. Handling the popcorn had not given him time to read through the show program.
  4. "Large, potentially world-breaking events tend to have more ramifications than one first expects, especially considering how small they start. Very often, whether or not a friend is made can effect the entire course of history, or at least a Pony's lifetime." The Prince smiled in reminiscence, thinking of a few old friends that had definitely affected his life for the better. "That's one of the reasons I do try the personal touch, especially now that we've got our first zebra. Don't worry though, you won't be our first outsider! We've got... practically everything except a caribou, and I'm hoping one of those will arrive soon!" From the window in view of the Zebra, Zareb would be able to see the school from where he sat. A particularly keen-eyed observer might even catch a glimpse of the wagon carting his luggage to the dorm. "I'm sure your room-mates would like to plan their own welcome, so I'd like to give then a little time. So, tell me, would you like some tea? I have rooibos, if you miss a taste of home, though there are many others, if there's ever anything new you want to try as well."
  5. Taira might end up being disappointed that Blueblood ultimately just wanted them both back on the treadmills, which would become apparent as soon as he stepped on one himself. "You can take a break, old friend, but we'll both need to keep this going, at least until the end of the day. I received my share of a few days ago, in case you were wondering; my recompense is claimed." And with that, the Prince got to work, turning the working press as it took in apples and gave out cider. Auntie Luna and Applebloom were out of his view, from where he stood, but he felt that he could trust the pair of them. The young crusader was in her element as an Apple, after all. Luna, while unseen, was not unheard, and he appreciated her care for Silverstream. It was nice that at least somepony shared his paternal feelings over his students. Speaking of, he could see both Gallus and Silverstream from where he stood. While he was quickly becoming aware that neither of them were experts in the matter of press repair specifically, the hippogriff at least showed a surprising degree of knowledge regarding mechanics. "I believe there's some spare lumber by the shed!" He called out to the pair from where he was power-walking. "I don't think Applejack would appreciate you cutting down her trees!" Hopefully he could be heard clearly over the creaking of machinery; disaster might arise from misinterpretation. After a good bit of work put in by all, the Prince was beginning to feel the heat. The summer was entering its dog days, and the sweat was starting to show on his hide. His figure was well-sculpted, though more from exercise than by labor; he would have made a fine sight nonetheless to any pony with an appreciation for stallions. "I say, Bellissima. Could you bring us some water now?" He turned his head to the resting singer, trying not to pant like a dog.
  6. As accustomed as Sky Sailing was growing towards the city of Los Pegasus, the idea that he would be respectfully guided to the VIP entrance of... anything, really, was a complete novelty to him. It might have been less awkward, perhaps, if he wasn't still holding the last bite of his waffle cone between his feathers. It just somehow seemed incongruous to the situation, leaving him somewhat flushed and flustered. "Oh, uh, we're here for the symphony. Just let me..." Holding up a hoof in a 'just a moment' gesture, he crammed the rest of his treat into his mouth, trying to keep any crumbs off his jacket. "Sorry, didn't want to drip on anything inside."
  7. "Is that so?" Sky a musician, not a chemist or a cook, so that little explanation was quite new. "So, too much of a sweet thing makes it taste bitter? Huh. I guess that makes sense. Change-ups in rhythm are often used to keep moods in music from feeling repetitive. And if an audience thinks you're repeating yourself too much, they're not so sweet on you." He smiled a bit at the pun, as if this wasn't one of the many things keeping him from sleeping much. "Sounds like Icy makes a show of preparation, then. A bit like those Neighponese hibachi cooks; the food is good, but you really go to see the preparatory showmareship. I wonder if she ever thought about integrating that into advertisement? It sounds like the perfect sort of attraction for a city like this." Progress through the fountains was slow and careful as they walked, talked, and licked. Once past, though, they made fairly good time through the cooling avenues. Though darkness was not falling yet, the neon was coming on and warming up for another big night. "Should be about three more turns and then straight for another four blocks until we're there." Sky was starting to get a sense of this place.
  8. "I'll definitely have to give hers a try, then. Most of what we got in Cloudsdale was syrup rather than juice; it travels better. Though, I have to say, I was actually a little disappointed that real raspberries were not, in fact, electric blue." Sky lowered his voice to a whisper. "Don't tell her, but I kind of prefer that flavor to actual raspberries." Blushing a bit at the shameful admission, he took a lick from his cone. One look at his face revealed that for strawberries, at least, Sky Sailing was a convert to the natural flavor! "Sure, let's go!" He nodded. One good thing about being a pegasus is that one could hold ice cream and walk at the same time. Unicorns could too, though it was by no means as easy as it looked to carry and balance a cone in magic while walking. A bit less awkward than earth ponies, at least. The concert was still not until sunset, so the couple could afford to be leisurely in their pace. While the sun still lit the sky, the air was just starting to cool from the 'siesta hour' as some from Mexicolt would say. "Better go around the fountains this time. Don't want a sudden spray cause us to drop these!" He laughed, humming a silly little tune as they went along.
  9. Bluebelle took another sip of the excellent tea as the conversation continued. My, but did the bergamot settle ever so nicely on the palate. The replies she was getting, however, were beginning to serve as a gentle reminder to speak at the level of her students. This wasn't a real high-society little tea party, though fair play to Smolder, her handling of the tea kit was enough to make a pony forget! Taking a deep, steamy breath over her cup, the Archancellor tamped down her tone, trying to bring in a more casual voice. "Spike certainly impressed me, with the few times I have seen him lately. His work is by no means easy, and I feel that he often doesn't get enough credit for it. Almost every Royal owes some of their success to their private secretaries; Auntie Celestia had Raven Quill for the longest time. I myself have one, maybe a few years older than you. A unicorn by the name of Wordsworth Psmith, and for some reason he insists upon spelling his second name with a silent 'P'. But I can forgive his quirks for his competencies; he does a good job, for all that I put on him." Indeed, the young stallion was one of the few members of Blue's entourage left in Canterlot, to handle all non-school affairs while she was in Ponyville. "Who indeed?" She gave a small smile at Silver's passing laugh, less concerned at her dodging of any potential questionings. It was enough to just be talking and spending time together. "I barely have time for two, myself." Let that settle in, see if anyone caught it... Smolder seemed more interested in her lineage, at the moment. "I am, in fact, the direct descendant of Princess Platinum. My full name and title is Princess Bluebloo- Bluebelle Platinum the 57th, Primus inter Pares. The last bit is in old Roaman, it means 'first among equals.' Unicorns are a proud bunch; they have hard time admitting inferiority even to their leaders."
  10. Polite affectations of his diplomatic trade aside, Prince Blueblood wasn't all that deeply studied in Unyasi culture. He'd never been posted there, and to be honest. before he made significant effort on his part to actually be useful in his position, it would have been a drastic mistake to do so. And once he had... other lands occupied his attention. Thus, while he could translate the words of Zareb's proverb, the meaning of it seemed to elude him. "I... see? Well, you are a long way from home." He stood back, giving a gesture to invite the young zebra deeper inside, where through a side doorway he would be able to see a small sitting room, set out for a guest's immediate use. "This isn't the school itself, but I prefer to welcome new students here, personally." The Prince answered, directing a servant to take care of Zareb's luggage. "When Princess Twilight assumed her duties in Canterlot, she left her school to me as the Archancellor. I try to maintain a personal touch with the students, as she did, but its hard to pick up on connections that somepony else already made. For newcomers, though, the slate is fresh, and I wish to lose no time."
  11. The 'Emperor' listened to the tales of Zelda's ancestors with a serious, but unsurprising face. "My branch of the family left Griffonstone some time before that, settling in the first Clopton Coast Colonies. I've no doubt that other surviving lines of the Imperial Tree survive, but none have come to claim their inheritance." There was a look in his eye, suggesting that some sense lingered behind his anachrony that could sometimes come out in outdated words and outsized dreams. "Many desire the glory without the labor, and many more cannot even see the glory. After all, how many griffons could look at a granite boulder, and see the statue inside?" He seemed somewhat disappointed that his lunch offer would not be taken up, but stepped back nonetheless. "Of course. One must maintain the bonds of kin, however much distance may divide. I do look forward to seeing you tomorrow, both of you, in fact." He nodded back towards Gill again, though he noted with a somewhat rueful expression. "It does appear, however, that your cousin does not share our enthusiasm. I hope, at least, she will come with some suggestions of how we may share it?" He looked, for a moment, saddened, like a distant uncle who had come to his first family reunion, and wanting desperately to befriend his nieces. Upon their departure, however, he would give a more cheerful, if formal, farewell, and return to his work of restoration, after a couple of sandwiches alongside his 'retainers'...
  12. "I never actually had much ice cream, growing up." Sky admitted as he walked with Wind Dancer into the shop. "Milk was expensive in Cloudsdale, but ice was practically free. You could get snow cones made from actual snow, too. Popsicles, too, were very popular in the summer. I actually worked in a freezer storage, for a little while, before I finally left." The store itself was decorated in the tile and style of many decades ago; it actually reminded Sky Sailing of the pictures of the 'sock hop' they had both seen in the museum earlier. The board of flavors was written in chalk, as there was a rotating selection along with the classic flavors. Even with that limitation on the selection, though, he still looked a little boggled at all the options available. "Um, I guess I'll take... Strawberry Avalanche?" He pointed at the 'Special Flavor of the Day'.4 The clerk at the front smiled. "Oh yes, that one's quite good! Cup or cone?" "Well, we're going to eat it on the way, so... cone, I think." With smile and nod, the clerk slid a rack full of cones over to the tub where the deeply pink confection was held. Taking a scoop with one hoof out of the warm water, she dexterously deposited the ice cream into the crispy waffle, before pulling it out with a practiced gesture and hoofing it into the grip of Sky's wing. "And for the lady?" She asked, her eyes alighting on Wind Dancer.
  13. While Wind dancer's attempt to steady him was definitely welcomed by Sky Sailing, it might well have complicated matters beyond a simple stumble. Her impromptu dance, as with all other dances of hers, kicked up a breeze in the formerly still are of the Maremont. Sky's wings being the senstive sails that they were, caught the sudden gust and went airborne through the fountain mists. It took a good minute or two to get all settled down, by which time the stallion was rendered fully alert, and, thankfully, cooled down quite a bit. "Huh, phew, yeah, I'm fine. Only my pride would be hurt, if ma hadn't warned be against having one!" He returned a laugh. The incident was amusing enough, so much so that, unbeknownst to both of them, several discrete photos had been taken of their extemporaneous performance, and would appear on the inner pages of a tabloid, with the header, 'Los Pegasus' newest celebrity couple make a splash!' Well, it couldn't all be scandalous gossip, and you needed to fill those pages somehow... "Oh hey, is that the place you were talking about?" Sky pointed at the storefront they had just landed beside, shaded by awnings in the colors of the Itailian flag, the sign in front boasting about its world-famous ice creams and ices.
  14. "Oh, I guess that makes two of us, then." Sky replied to hearing that Ice Storm was fairly new in getting herself established. "She didn't seem like the sort of mare that would take long in finding out, though. To start from an ice-cream stall and go to a high-rise casino? You can't do that without a 'good nose for the winds,' as they all used to say in Cloudsdale. Not that a lot of breezes blow though here." He spread his wings and flapped a bit; the air was still and hot on the Maremont. Even with his talent, there was nothing for Sky Sailing to gain lift from. It wasn't really surprising for him to hear, then, that the citizens had devised alternate means of cooling themselves. Unfortunately, the heat and stillness led him to daydream as they walked along towards the fountains. Thus, the pegasus never saw the hole he walked right over.... *FSHHH!* "AWP- glub!" The sudden spray caught him right under his barrel, just to the front of his hips. The force was sufficient to send him along in a dance of his own, considerably more comic than those Windy had choreographed. At least the audience of colts and fillies playing in the fountain under the afternoon sun appreciated the show!
  15. Sky was surprised his joking remark was so close to the truth; it actually got him thinking about a possible gift he could give, provided he got into contact with some comic book artists that could draw something more than a stick pony... "Hm, I'd like to see some of your scores, then, when we come back to the apartment." Maybe he could persuade her to let him borrow one, for reference... "Well, I wouldn't say I have room for a buffet-sized dessert, but ice cream on the way sounds lovely!" He was smiling widely now, laying some bits on the table as a tip for their waitress as he exited the booth. "It wouldn't happen to be one of those places owned by Ice Storm, right? I have been trying to do a little research on the movers and shakers here, lately. And yes, the Concert is at the Mareage. Got the tickets right here." He patted the inside pocket of his nebula jacket, the first gift from her to him.
  16. The School of Friendship always had an international character of an informal type, even going back to the core of six students that Princess Twilight had gathered together. As far as Prince Blueblood was concerned, however, informal was simply insufficient! In fact, he'd deliberately connected his new position as Archancellor to his already-existing IMAGINE project. After all, world peace and harmony was the eventual goal of both institutions, though the latter had been bogged down in the still-ongoing war in Whitescar. Attempting to forge a post-war society before the war ended was obviously a difficult task... Having an alternate angle of approach, therefore, seemed very much in order. And the school was just perfect for that. A place where the young and talented from all over the world could be gathered together, taught the values of Equestrian friendship and harmony, and become friends before going back to achieve high position in their home countries? Absolutely brilliant! Twilight Sparkle might have taken a little heat from so-called educational experts who nitpicked and nagged about "practical curricula," but as far as the Prince was concerned, the School of Friendship was teaching things far more important than algebra and cell biology. *What does it profit a pony to solve for X, but lose the ability to care for others, and have others care for them?* To this end, he took some interest in ensuring full representation of all sapient creatures and countries of origin among the student body. Surprisingly, there wasn't a zebra among the student body yet. Unyasi was pretty distant, sure, but not really all that much further than Yakyakistan or Neighpon, surely? Well, no matter. Blueblood had sent word though his ambassadorial contacts that a spot for a zebra student was reserved, and they had returned with a promising candidate. A zebra with a talent for making friends? Zareb sounded just like the sort that would benefit from refinement in the school, and all the contacts he would make. Yes, great things would surely come from this! To this end, unusually for the Royal Unicorn, he was actually there in person to answer the door for Zareb, though he held off on greeting him until the newcomer could properly take in the magnificence of the Entrance Hall. Clashes with the local architecture aside, it really was spectacular in its own right. Once sufficient time was allowed, he stepped out into full view, dressed resplendently in velvet. "Karibu, rafiki!" He spoke, with flawless accent. Long nights spent practicing did not go amiss. "I hope your long journey here was pleasant."
  17. Choreography was one of the great mysteries of dance to Sky; the basic idea of matching the motion of limbs to the rhythm of music was intuitive enough for him. Even the head-bobbing he did while piecing together a track might even count, in a technical way. But the art of composition in three dimensional space? Four, if one counted time. "Yeah, transcription is a bit of a a pain, sometimes. But you can't always trust your memory, so the staffs and sheets it is. At least, for me. I don't know how you'd write down hoof position, flight, and poses in something that wasn't a comic book!" He laughed a bit, taking up the last bite of pineapple. It just... felt right, being with her. As if they paired as well as their respective art forms. Smiling at the compliment, the stallion was even able to take up her invitation with only a minor blush. "Then it would be my honor to accompany you home." Finishing up his drink, he stacked his plates together for when the waitress came back to pick them up. "Did you get enough to eat? We're not in any hurry, its just that there's only so much room in my stomach! My art's not nearly as calorie-intensive as yours, Windy."
  18. Guess who a possible Covid exposure sent home early and back into isolation?  *sigh*


  19. I am going to be on vacation for the next week, internet access will be spotty at best.  Won't be able to post during that time.  See you when I get back!

    1. Pretzelparty


      Stay safe, Blue!

  20. It was impressive how quickly Wind Dancer put away all those noodles. Of course, her chosen profession was nothing if not extremely calorie-intensive. Sky accompanied her for a second run, though this time it consisted of mostly fruits and sweets for him; two plates was about his limit at a buffet. "You know, I get that. I never took any music lessons; well, not from teachers. I saved up my allowance for a correspondence course when I was young, and taught myself how to build a synthesizer out of old parts from my dad's workshop. It was just when a lot of magi-crystal devices were coming on the market and, well, movers weren't always delicate in their handling. There were a lot of spare parts hanging around in Cloudsdale to work with." A soft smile played about his features as he remembered those earlier days. "Ponies usually don't need school for anything they actually want to learn, though what nopony tells you is that you still get graded. An audience's applause feels better than any 'A' I ever got!" And silence hurt worse than any 'F', but no need to bring down the conversation with undue negativity. As he took a bite of pineapple, he tried to keep himself from choking at seeing the wink. By now, Windy would have known that Sky Sailing was a very innocent stallion, though by no means ignorant of implications. Swallowing, with a bit of juice to wash it down, he took a deep breath. "I'm never so busy that I wouldn't want to see you around. Music sounds better when shared, after all." Pausing for a moment, he asked, "After the concert tonight, did you... want me to stay over?"
  21. Sky found himself both amused and interested in the relative similarity of their plate pilings. "Mind if we swap samples?" He offered, using his wings to dexterously manipulate a pair of chopsticks to pull a piece of sashimi from his plate, offering it to Windy in exchange for some of her noodles. As the conversation continued, Sky began to wonder, "I suppose the next question would be, do you feel you could go back to Cloudsdale now?" A few of seconds of reflection on his own question, however, caused him to issue a retraction, "That might not be safe for the town, actually; if you're worried about Canterlot's stability, Cloudsdale is probably a no-go for a venue. Though, they probably have to have high-wind protocols. I remember... something about the jet stream from flight school, I think." He gave her a slightly sheepish look over the pair of plates. "Shows what classes I was daydreaming in, huh?" "Anyway, I'd love to travel the world with you, when the opportunity arises. Don't mind staying here in the meantime, though. Be a long time before we ran out of things to do, and even doing nothing together wouldn't be so bad, you know?"
  22. As the steam rose from the tea, Bluebelle recognized the aroma. "Oh, Earl Grey! I see you are a dragoness of class as well, Smolder." The mare beamed an approving smile at the dragon, accepting the lemon once she noticed that the creamer was not natural. It wasn't so much that Blue hadn't been disgusted at the natural origin of milk when he first learned it. It was just that the chemical origins of food additives were even worse when you really thought about them. "Oh, by the way, have you ever put in a bit of lavender into this kind? Add in cream and sugar, and you've made what's called a 'Trottingham Fog.' A specialty of the town, I'm given to understand." The Archancellor sipped the tea as the conversation carried on around her. Seemed Smolder wasn't more than curious about such things, and even then not to any serious level. Which was expected, of someone her age. Although, Spike was slightly younger, and had a fairly serious crush, she was given to understand. But the little purple one was certainly an exception in many ways to dragons as a whole. And what dragons were as a whole was changing too; the end result would partially depend on how Smolder chose to conduct herself here. The Princess refrained from mentioning that, not wanting to put too much pressure on her student. Something for her to reflect on, all the same. Silverstream's enthusiasm was quite the contrast, and her smile was infectious. When she posed her seemingly-facetious question, though, Bluebelle sat up a little straighter with more alertness. Perhaps she might be able to afford a bit more openness. "Well, that certainly would be a logistical challenge! But you'd be surprised at the amount of leeway law and custom give you. Being of royal blood helps in that regard. Still, word of advice, half a dozen is as much as anyone can handle, and probably more than is prudent." She giggled, still giving the remarks the plausible deniability of humor, though her tone throughout had been sincere enough. Smolder, on the other hoof, wasn't one for dancing around the issue, and pressed her friend directly for an answer. Fate, of course, was on the side of secrecy, as just as the hippogriff was about to spill the beans, nature intervened. "Why yes, that is a hummingbird. Lady Fluttershy cares for them, I believe. I suppose they followed her here." She let Silver off the hook, not really feeling it her place to press the share. It was enough to just spend time out in the early autumn, pleasantly chatting.
  23. Blueblood could only hope that Gallus would keep to his word, and stay out of trouble. It was even odds on whether Silverstream would be a positive or negative influence on him in that respect; both of them were good at heart, but Gallus' self-image combined with Silverstream's enthusiasm was a recipe for youthful hijinks. Of course, given the nature of this town, that could easily wind up being the least of his worries. The new changeling and his guard were introducing themselves, and Tiger Blood was being quite friendly and open. Just the kind of face that Blueblood wished for his household to present to the world. The nascent smile on his face, however, did not so much fade as drain when Cloudy Skies returned with a report of 'minimal mayhem.' Sucking in a breath through his teeth and trying to stave off a panic attack, the Prince emptied his lungs slowly, before filling then once again to speak, "Tiger Blood, would be so kind as to let Cloudy Skies here show you where the messes are being made? Also, if meet any skeletons walking around, please disassemble them before they start harassing the guests." A quick glance out towards the town, the first he'd been able to spare in a while, made him spy what he was pretty sure was a new student out by the vendor booths. "Oh! I think I spy one of the new enrollees. Do you mind terribly if I excuse myself to welcome them personally? I'll be back in a jiffy." There were, in Bonbon's explication of her wares, several words that were quite new to Chipper. "Choc-o-late?" He repeated back slowy, head tilted like a puzzled dog. "Caw-cau-co!" One of his birds croaked in response, one so unhelpful as to not be worth translating. The corvids were really disappointed at the lack of eyeballs. "Now now, no need to be rude. She's obviously worked very hard to make these, whatever they are. The least we can do is spare a bit of loot for them!" Hailing from the Southern Wilds of Whitescar and subsequently adopted by a caribou clan, Chipper was unfamiliar with bits, save in the context of... 'spoils of war', shall we say? Nonetheless, adoption by a clan of traders rather than raiders gave him some allowance of shiny gold circles, of which he counted out five. Once served with the treats, he popped one in his mouth... and then Bonbon would bear witness to a precious and magical sight, one she would not behold again until and unless she and Lyra ever had foals of their own: the expression of a colt trying chocolate for the very first time. The exaggeratedly upbeat expression dropped like a set of armor after a battle, leaving an unguarded look of wide-eyed wonder upon his face. "This... this is... amazing. There's nothing like this back home, not even honeyfruits!" Handling the rest of the bonbons more carefully, like the precious treasures they were to him, he slipped them into a pouch in his robe, taking care not to jostle or break them too much. "Thank you, miss... what's your name? Mine's Chipper; Chipper Demise!"
  24. True to his word, Sky would have mostly kept silent throughout Windy's talking, saving the conversation to happen over food. He couldn't help but remark on the fact that they both hailed from the same town, ultimately. "So I guess we can add two names to list of artists who come out of a place like Cloudsdale. I used to wonder if it wasn't arrogance on all our parts that we didn't stay to make the town one of art, but then, being as dull as a blank canvas is what made so many become artists in the first place. I think perhaps it's best that places be themselves, and that we change or move. I certainly wouldn't want Los Pegasus to be any less of what it is, even if I find overwhelming half the time." Entering the Buffet, Sky found himself a little surprised to be targeted by "Sudden celebrity realization." This buffet had an atmosphere similar to one back home, even though the selection was vastly more expansive. Being left behind by the tourist traps gave the place a sense that it was for locals and their families, and the slightly behind-times decor of dark wood only served to emphasize the atmosphere. But this wasn't the Cloud Street Family Restaurant, and he wasn't just a normal pony anymore, apparently. Though, in a place like this, they could still pretend, if only for a little while. "I think we'll be fine. I've never seen seafood this far from a coast before!" That said, fish wasn't always so popular among a mostly vegetarian population, and seaweed was an acquired taste. One which Sky had acquired, though, mostly from a fascination with Neighpon when he was younger. In fact, there were quite a lot of Eastern-themed dishes piling his first plate as the pair finally took their table together. Hold "I can see why you like this place. I don't think either of us want to live in the bright lights all the time. There's some I know who do, and therefore would never even bother with this buffet." He took a piece of sesame-flavored seaweed and bit down with relish. "Of course, that means they always end up either here or in Manehattan, waiting tables and scrabbling for performance slots, always trying to make it big, to get their one shot. I mean, I'm not gonna say they're wrong, some ponies do win the lottery. I mean, I was lucky enough to meet you, right?" He laughed, still amazed at how much had come from happenstance. "But that's not how it normally works. You've got to play your hometown venues, pay your touring dues. Hold your shows in places where you're the most interesting thing that's happened all month. You ever thought about doing that? Just going on the road, taking your show to Heartland towns and out of the way places?"
  25. Archancellor Bluebelle wasn't about to raise a complaint about the quality of the china; honestly, she would have been rather worried if any of her students were carting around fine porcelain for common use. Accepting the mug with grace, she contemplated which steeped libation would best fill it. Smolder would have been able to detect the pleased expression of surprise in the mare's features at hearing the listing. It seemed that Smolder was not merely humoring the locals, but was an actual tea aficionado! At least, as far as one so young could be in a subject that could engross the hobbyist's attention for a lifetime.2 "Hm, quite a difficult choice, actually... tell you what, why don't you show me your favorite? I'm actually quite interested in what caught your fancy, and why; I sometimes do diplomatic work with dragons, so it would be a very good piece of information to have. Always pays to be a considerate host." Not to mention, getting a glimpse into Smolder's thought process would be a good way of actually getting to know the little dragoness. As the chosen brew was steeped, Bluebelle would settle down, trying to integrate herself into the conversation. She had, unconsciously, the feeling that she had interrupted something, and thus felt obligated to smooth over the little chat back into a casual mode. A little self-sharing seemed to be the ticket, and the subject seemed to call for it! Tastes in attractiveness and relationships was something that Blue had acquired a good deal of self-knowledge in over the past several years; she just had to be careful not to stray into TMI territory! "Oh, how delightful! I take it you're just now starting to discover your type?" The unicorn mare smiled, taking Silverstream's intrusiveness in stride. Honestly, she wasn't even as impertinently inquisitive as several Duchesses Bluebelle could name. "Guards and Knightly sorts are mine, bonus points if they have wings." She smiled, certain specific ponies coming to mind. "And... well, I'm not married yet, that takes some rather more complicated arrangements for Royalty than for commoners, but yes, I'd say I'm in a committed relationship." More accurate would be at least one serious relationship, but that, again, might be straying into TMI territory. Or even into a realm where she could be accused of being a bad influence!
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